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The more I read, the more I am deciding it is in our best interests to go the whole way, and return to a purely holistic approach - human family included.
Farming your own herbs, bringing up healthy livestock, sticking to the organic whole foods, naturally raised products, whatever it may be. Only the goodness of the earth. All while the product is raised organic - green is good.

"if it ain't broke, don't fix it" but this does go both ways. The way things are now, it ain't broke. Yet, the way things were, they weren't broke, either.

The tricky one I am contemplating are the vaccines. Obviously you cannot give injections if you are boasting "100% holistic"
Rabies comes to mind. I have yet to read up on a holistic cure to it.
Distemper and parvo have these herbal cures, but still do worry me.

My dog has the gauntlet of shots, as I did not know anything when I did get him, vet convinced me and also put a pretty "discount" (yeah right) on everything if I packaged. Going forward, I will not be injecting him with anything - rabies included.
Looking back on his vac record, I am not surprised that I was talked into it, these are all worrisome issues. Besides, he had not come from a breeder, so his origins were unknown, it was probably in the best of all interests.
CV - Lyme vaccine (annual)
4DX (HW/Lyme/Ehrlichia/Anaplasmosis)
CV - Bordetella - Intranasal
CV - Leptospirosis Vaccine (annual)
Rabies Vaccine 1 year K9
CV - Distemper, Hep., Para., Parvo 1Y
After ditching vaccines, what remains? Currently all I do give are the HW and pest preventatives. Once they are finished, I want to ditch the HW preventatives, as well as the lice/flea/tick/mosq chemicals, my faith resides in that with proper holistic preventative, they can be overcome.

So is this too much to ask for? I can only think of our predecessors that had none of present day medicine available. They seemed to do just fine, but those times are long gone. Certainly, these viruses, diseases, and parasites have come a long way and evolved past their normal states, and come back with a vengeance. But they have evolved to overcome lab solutions, never the holistic approach. So why not return to what was not broken to begin with?
 

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I would do 100% Holistic if I could as well. Just not a reality with Rabies and things like that. I get the 3 year Rabies and the "scary" ones... Otherwise they don't get annual shots. When my horses get their annual health cert / coggins I have the vet look over the dogs too. No going into the germy vets office. My 19 yr old Shiba does go to the specialist every 3 months but he is carried, through the back door, and a mat put on the table so he doesnt have direct contact. I am with you in an ideal world I would love to never put anything synthetic into my dogs bodies.
 

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Rabies is a killed vaccine. Killed vaccines are KNOWN not to offer the duration of immunity that modfied live viruses provide and the data is not in for that one. If your dog does bite someone (even an accidental nick) and is not up on rabies it may mean either euthanization or a 6 month quarantine.

I am for a holistic approach but do believe there is room for both approaches in a balanced scheme. If you don't believe in the insecticides why are you "using them up" before ditching them?

Where I live I am not going to take chances with HW. Had dogs get infected with short lapses in the "preventive"
 

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Check your state laws. I think most states require rabies shots. If you don't vaccinate, you will never be able to board, day care, take to a groomer, or enter your dog into an event or sport.. You may think you will never need these things, but the day your dog gets sprayed by a skunk you might feel differently about taking him to a groomer, of if a family member suddenly passes and you have to get to a funeral you might need to board. It would be better to be somewhat current than to suddenly have to give him these chemicals all at once.
 

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Check your state laws. I think most states require rabies shots.
Illinois requires Rabies vax every three years after the initial vax.

If you don't vaccinate, you will never be able to board, day care, take to a groomer, or enter your dog into an event or sport.
I have yet to be asked for ANY vaccination information when showing my dogs. I have people come and stay at my house to watch my dogs but if I HAD to board them, the place I use will accept titers.

I have a doggie day care and a grooming facility near me that both accept titers.

You need to look harder but they ARE out there.
 

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I HAVE to give my dogs the Rabies vaccines in order to keep our kennel license (which allows us to keep the number of dogs we have). I wait as long as I can (I can usually make it to 16 months) before I have to get them vax'ed. I do Rabies and that's it.

My pack has been through Parvo so I know they all have sufficient immunity 'memory' (their system will recognize and respond accordingly if they are exposed again).

Distemper is not very common in my area so I don't do those shots either.

I do not use HW or flea/tick chemicals. I stopped the HW right before I moved to SE WI. For the first few years we lived here I would have my dogs tested for HW. After never getting a positive result I stopped spending my money. :)

Last year was a VERY bad year for ticks. I must have pulled a hundred ticks off my guys and many were engorged. I'm hoping that the garlic I'm adding to their diet will help this year - especially since I've already found 2 on me!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Agreed that there is and should be a balanced approach, and I am trying to figure out where the balance lies. These replies are very helpful!

This is not to say that the products do not work! I have found on him just two ticks, neither engorged, one attached one not. We did a lot of deep woods hiking last year in the Appalachians, big time tick country. Mosquitoes never seemed to bother him, nor did flies, and both are especially nasty in the swamps of Jersey. Here again we are back to "If it ain't broke..." And no, I will not be using up the rest of the products now, just waiting until they wear off, and if it really is a problem, then the balance will change again.

Rabies is still the gray area, and not because of the law, but because the virus is certainly one of the scary ones.
Lauri - does that mean that you would forgo rabies vaccines, if the legal repercussions were not in your way?
 

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Agreed that there is and should be a balanced approach, and I am trying to figure out where the balance lies. These replies are very helpful!
The balance lies within your own hands and what you feel comfortable with and what you expose your dog to. Sounds like you do a lot of nature type things (as do I) so the rabies is essential otherwise the germ factories known as kennels, doggie day cares, dog parks, off limits. Could they come into something sure, but I also believe my dogs immunity is strong and I support it with supplements. Dont get me wrong if there is an issue they go to the vet immediately if my horse vet cant come or cant handle it. They are never in danger. Its all in what you feel works for you, your pack, and your region.
 
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